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Paychex payments and payroll review

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24/7 support simplifies payroll, but you'll have to pay more for a dedicated payroll specialist.

Paychex is a popular way to pay employees in the US, boasting payments to 1 in 12 private-sector employees. But tiered offerings mean that you’ll need to pay more to access all of its features.

  • Choose Paychex if you compensate staff on a salary or hourly — and can afford to pay $60 plus $4 per employee monthly.
  • Consider another payroll provider if you need a cheaper monthly rate or work with mostly contractors on a per-project basis.

Details

SolutionsOnline
ProductsPayment processing, Payroll
Monthly fees start at$60/month + $4 per employee
Contract required?No
Processing timeNext day

What is Paychex?

Founded in 1971, Paychex is a popular payroll industry, claiming to hundreds of thousands of payroll clients in more than 100 locations.

Access Paychex tools anytime through the web and an app to pay employees and consistant contractors easily. Payments options include direct deposit, paper checks and prepaid debit cards. It even provides reporting options, 401(k) and retirement services and insurance options.

Pros and cons of Paychex

Pros

  • Easy web and mobile access. With a single sign-in for easy management.
  • Quality reporting capabilities. Import or export information from other services.
  • Safe, secure services. Paychex protects your and your employees’ info.

Cons

  • Higher costs. The $60 monthly fee for its cheapest plan is pricier than what you’d pay with Gusto at $25 monthly, or Patriot at $15 monthly.
  • No one-time payments. Paychex is for regular payroll needs.
  • Customer service is hit or miss. Some users have experienced difficulty getting a sales rep to call them back.

Paychex reviews and complaints

Paychex has an A+ rating with the BBB, but as of October 2020 it has an average of 2 out of 5 stars from customers on the site. Many of the negative reviews come from customers with benefits managed by Paychex, like 401(k), FSA and HSA accounts.

Most of the positive reviews name specific dedicated account specialists who offer great customer service, which suggests that it may be worth paying for an upgraded plan that offers dedicated support.

customer service iconWhat I thought of Paychex’s customer service

I called Paychex to ask if there was a cancellation fee associated with its service. I found the phone number for the sales team by clicking the Contact tab at the top of the page. Here are the highlights of the call:

  • Did I get an answer? Yes, the rep I spoke to confirmed that Paychex doesn’t charge cancellation fees.
  • How long did it take? The call lasted 42 seconds.
  • Was there an automated system? No, but there was a 10 second recorded message for Paychex members. After the message was over, I was connected with a live representative.

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What is Paychex Pay-on-Demand?

Pay-on-Demand is one of the additional payment options, along with paper checks and prepaid debit cards, included with the Flex Select and Flex Pro plans. It allows employees to access up to $500 of their paycheck before payday, though they may need to pay up to $5 in fees per pay period to use it.

How do employees get paid with Paychex?

Paychex is a payroll service that makes paying employees easier. Business owners register and pay for the service using its software before paying employees.Paychex payment services include:
  • Direct deposit. Deposits payroll funds directly to your bank account to access your money on payday.
  • Paper checks. Employer’s signature is laser-encoded on checks and inserted into envelopes. This saves time and costs between $2.87 to $3.15 a payment.
  • Debit card. Employees that want the convenience of direct deposit but don’t have a bank account, it’s Skylight option deposits payday money onto a debit card.

What happens once I’ve made a payment?

Once a payment is made, you and your employee receive an email or notification on the mobile app. There is a 15-minute holding period before the scheduled funds are moved to the employee’s account.

What other features does Paychex offer?

In addition to standard payroll processing, here’s what Paychex brings to the table:

  • Employee benefits. Offer 401(K) retirement plans, group health insurance, life insurance, or Section 125 plans such as Health Savings Accounts or Flexible Spending Accounts.
  • Business insurance and workers compensation. Paychex can provide you with workers comp or business insurance, including payment and reports submittal.
  • Payment processing. Accept more types of payment including debit, credit, ACH Payment and eChecks. Get the option of next-day funding and only pay for monthly billing, verses daily billing with some competitors.
  • HR services. Stay on top of mandatory compliance for workers comp, unemployment insurance, and Cobra coverage. Make an easy online employee handbook and even recruit, track and screen new employees.
  • Integrations. Paychex integrates with dozens of business software, including Oracle, Sage and Shoptech, along with insurance providers such as Aetna, TIAA and more. It also integrates with financial providers like PNC, Charles Schwab and Chase.
  • Business loans. The Paychex Small Business Loan Center can connect you with funding through its partnership with Biz2Credit, featuring 24-hour pre-qualification.
  • Tax services. Payroll tax administration and tax credit services are included in all Paychex plans. This can help you calculate and make timely tax payments, and take advantage of tax credit incentives that your business is eligible for.
  • Incorporation services. Startups and first-time business owners can use Paychex to apply for an employer tax ID, register for a business license, obtain essential internal documents and more.
  • Online marketing services. Paychex Digital Marketing Services can manage your company’s listings on Google, Facebook, Yelp and other popular business directories, solicit feedback from customers and publish location-optimized ads across the web.

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Compare payroll software

Name Product Price Free trial? Business size Live support?
Quickbooks Online
Quickbooks Online
$25 /month
Yes
S
Yes
70% off all QuickBooks Online plans for the first 3 months.
Patriot Software
Patriot Software
$15 /month
Yes
S
Yes
Fast, inexpensive, and accurate online accounting and payroll software for small businesses.
Gusto
Gusto
$25 /month
No
S
Yes
A platform that helps businesses make it easy to onboard, pay, insure, and support your hardworking team.
Paychex
$64 /month
Yes
S, M
Yes
Pays employees in the US, boasting payments to 1 in 12 private-sector employees.
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Bottom line

Paychex is a reliable and fully capable payment processing provider, with over 45 years in the biz and a wide range of extra features that you can take advantage of, if you can foot the bill. But if the monthly fee is too pricey, you may want to compare other payroll processors to find the best match.

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